Step 2: Asking a Third Party to Help
Wills and Probate
If you need to search for probate records, such as whether or not a will or a grant of representation exists, you can do so either online or by post. Please follow the procedure at: https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/searching-for-probate-records.
For information regarding the application for the grant of representation, you can contact your local Probate Registry. Please see section ‘Talking it Trough’ for contact details and addresses of probate registries.
For assistance with completing forms, you can also contact the Probate and Inheritance Tax Helpline on 0300 123 1072.
For the purpose of knowing whether to apply for a grant of representation, you will need to find out how the deceased property’s is owned. You can search the England and Wales Land Registry: https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry or contact the Land Registry if you need help using the service: http://landregistry.custhelp.com/app/contactus_findprop/.
Moreover, as an executor or administrator, you will need to know how to value the estate and decide whether inheritance tax is owed. A helpful guideline can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/valuingestate-of-someone-who-died. You can also contact the HMRC for help with tax after someone has died: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/bereavement-and-deceased-estate.
As pointed out in section ‘Talking it Trough’, an executor or administrator will need to pay the deceased’s funeral expenses. If you are low on income, you may apply for a Funeral Payment. For information about eligibility criteria and sums covered, please see: https://www.gov.uk/funeralpayments/overview.
Finally, in the event that it becomes necessary to contact a solicitor or legal adviser, you can use the following search services: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-rights/legal-system/takinglegal-action/using-a-legal-adviser/; http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/.
Other sources of help for LiPs:
A Handbook for Litigants in Person’ published by the judiciary: https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wpcontent/uploads/JCO/Documents/Guidance/A_Handbook_for_Litigants_in_Person.pdf
A Guide to Representing Yourself in Court’ published by the Bar Council: http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/media/203109/srl_guide_final_for_online_use.pdf
Going to Court’ series of 5 guides published by Advice Now: http://www.advicenow.org.uk/going-court-or-tribunal-without-help-lawyer
How to get help if you are representing yourself in a court of tribunal’ published by Advice Now: http://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/how-get-help-if-you-are-representing-yourself-court-ortribunal
Last minute tips for going to court’ published by Advice Now: http://www.advicenow.org.uk/know-hows/last-minute-tips-going-court
Help with Interim Applications:
A guide for LiPs for ‘Interim Applications in the Chancery Division’ can be found at: https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wpcontent/uploads/JCO/Documents/Guidance/chancery_lip_2013_2.pdf
The CLIPS Scheme, known as the Chancery bar Litigants In Person Support scheme: This is a scheme under which barristers provide free legal assistance to LiPs appearing in the Applications Court, where the High Court Judges hear applications for interim remedies (injunctions or other orders made prior to a claim under CPR Part 25). The scheme is run by the Chancery Bar Association in conjunction with RCJ Advice Bureau and the Bar Pro Bono Unit(1). For how the scheme works, please consult: http://www.chba.org.uk/news/clips-chancery-bar-litigant-in-person-support-scheme-launch.
(1) The Bar Pro Bono Unit also helps to find pro bono free legal assistance from volunteer barristers: http://www.barprobono.org.uk/